Merkel confirms commitment to Afghanistan

24th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 July 2007, BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed Tuesday her nation's commitment to international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, despite the kidnapping last week of two German engineers. One of the hostages has since died.

24 July 2007

BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed Tuesday her nation's commitment to international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, despite the kidnapping last week of two German engineers. One of the hostages has since died.

Following a meeting with the U.N.'s top envoy to Afghanistan, Tom Koenigs, and several of her ministers, Merkel stressed that Germany views its engagement in Afghanistan as long-term. Some 3,000 German troops support the NATO military mission in Afghanistan, and German officers lead efforts to train Afghan police.

"I feel confirmed in many efforts we are making against the tremendous odds that we are constantly up against," Merkel told reporters. "This is a long-term, but very important and indisputable engagement."

Parliament is to vote later in the year on whether to extend Germany's mission to Afghanistan, which has come under criticism in recent days since two German engineers were kidnapped in central Afghanistan last week. One of them died in captivity under circumstances that are still unclear.

Efforts to secure the release of the second hostage, as well as of 23 South Koreans who were kidnapped the following day, are continuing.

AP

Subject: German news

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